The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising?? - Page 77 - SailNet Community
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post #761 of 909 Old 11-18-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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I think the problem is more that young couples aren't spending their money on sailing at all, not that they're buying too much boat (although I'm sure there are examples of that too).

Personally I don't think the government is to blame for sailing's decline, - though a poor economy doesn't help.

For that matter I think the economic problems go deeper than republicans vs democrats. We are responsible for our own government anyway. Personally, I think we need to start questioning whether or current economic system can succeed over time. Labor is cheaper overseas and automation is cheaper still. Unless we make some drastic changes, there simply won't be that many good paying jobs. It doesn't matter much who is in office unless it is a collection of folks willing to be much bolder than most of the politicians we've have had over the last several decades.
yeah. the present economy is the result of protectionism and socialism ( now referred to as progressive ). and that covers both parties. love your post. you don't hear many people saying the real fact: it's our fault. we are responsible for our government. a government for, of, and by the people. this is what happenns when the people get complacent.

but, addressing the issue of this thread, i think a big issue is availability. the motorcycle industry has gone through the same thing, especially the 'cruiser' world ( focusing on HDs and their part of motorcycling ). bck in the day, motorcycles were an inexpensive form of transportation. everyone is familiar with the poor working class biker image. then, rich people started buying harleys. all the prices went up to take advantage of that new money base. now, the industry is aimed at that group and they are getting older. young people aren't buying harleys. they want cheaper, faster, and more reliable japanese bikes. and the entire harley based industry is really worried.

well, 'inexpensive' fiberglass boats took sailing out of the realm of rich yacht owners, in their wooden masterpieces, and made it available to the masses. since then, the rich have begun buying fiberglass boats. the industry has seen this and has aimed itself to get that money. it's better, in the modern view point, to sell one boat for half a mil than it is to sell 15 boats for 30k. and the prices of all the sailing supplies just go up, as ell, in an effort to grab up all the big money. now, sailing has become a sport of the rich, again. i mean, just look through the site. how many times do you see sailboats referred to as money pits. i read one post where sailing is likened to tearing up your money and throwing it overboard.

in other words, sailing is no longer avalable to the masses. don't get me wrong. there are cheaper old boats to fix up. but the masses do not have the knowledge, ability, or desire to invest that kind of work before they can enjoy their hobby. they want things 'turn key'. and you can't do that, affordably, on the wages of the masses, without major financial restructuring ( which is impoossible for some ).

all that easy money did the same to the housing market. for a few decades, now, no one has been building sensible, affordable new single family homes. it's all mc mansions. houses bigger and ore costly than most families will ever need.

it's the greed of the industry. they see easy big money and it's all they care about. $5000 for a small fiberglass dinghy! outlandish.

to 'save' sailing, the industry has to adjust it's goals. they need to start building smaller, more basic, affordable boats and then they need to actually advertise them, and sailing, to the general public. you see ads for sailboats and sailing related things in sailing magazines and never the general media. only people already interested in sailing read such publications.

if you build boats that average people can afford and then you advertise the beauty of the sailing life, in a media that will reach the masses, i think you would se a surge in the number of new sailors.

and, like oe poster said, you also need an easy, available avenue to learn how to sail.

it's all about marketing. sailing is marketing to the haves, a shrinking class, it needs to be marketed to the have a littles, too.

if all cars were aimed at the bmw crowd, you'd see a huge drop in the number of people buying cars. there is a market for those kinds of cars, but the biggest market is in chevys.

sailboats need to market to chevy people as well as BMW people.

Last edited by captain jack; 11-18-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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post #762 of 909 Old 11-18-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Yup, just the sort of thing the Sailors of the Future will need, to help keep sailing alive...

A "Telltales App" for their iPhone... :-)


My point is that one barrier I see keeping more people from sailing is simply having no idea how to do it.

Some may try, have a bad experience and that's pretty much the end of it. It's another good reason to start people young but beyond that, I think there are things that can done to make sailing easier to learn and that could include building some smarts into the boat itself.

It could be as simple as audible hints when somebody is close to do something stupid and potentially dangerous like an accidental gybe or could be more involved like enhanced automation. These things could be turned off as the sailor gets more comfortable doing them on their own.

And there might be things that a lot of people don't mind letting the boat do on it's own. When's the last time you've seen a car with a manual choke? And as much as I like a manual transmission, most people are quite happy to do without them.

I'm not suggesting that this should replace instruction but a 4 day class only does so much. To develop confidence one needs to get out on their and I think the industry could do more to make that a better and easier experience.

Last edited by unimacs; 11-18-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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post #763 of 909 Old 11-18-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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I think there are things that can done to make sailing easier to learn and that could include building some smarts into the boat itself.

It could be as simple as audible hints when somebody is close to do something stupid and potentially dangerous like an accidental gybe or could be more involved like enhanced automation.
Hmmm, sounds expensive...

Moreover, seems inherently counter-intuitive to the learning process... Like learning most any endeavor, many of the most instructive lessons are learned by making mistakes... Learning to sail is best done on simple, small, responsive boats where one's input can be felt and measured, and the consequences of mistakes are not too painful, or expensive... Starting out on boats sufficiently large, and sophisticated, so as to possess automated anti-gybe controls seems like a piss-poor way to learn how to sail, to me...

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My point is that one barrier I see keeping more people from sailing is simply having no idea how to do it.
So? What's the problem? The water is already covered with boaters who have no clue what they're doing... :-)

That's the fundamental problem I always have with these 'Saving Sailing' discussions... Learning to sail has NEVER been easier than it is today, with the plethora of books, videos, sailing schools, internet discussion forums, and so on...

Seriously, if learning to sail today is still too difficult, or just too much work for some, should we really be trying harder to get such people out on the water?
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post #764 of 909 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Hmmm, sounds expensive...

Moreover, seems inherently counter-intuitive to the learning process... Like learning most any endeavor, many of the most instructive lessons are learned by making mistakes... Learning to sail is best done on simple, small, responsive boats where one's input can be felt and measured, and the consequences of mistakes are not too painful, or expensive... Starting out on boats sufficiently large, and sophisticated, so as to possess automated anti-gybe controls seems like a piss-poor way to learn how to sail, to me...



So? What's the problem? The water is already covered with boaters who have no clue what they're doing... :-)

That's the fundamental problem I always have with these 'Saving Sailing' discussions... Learning to sail has NEVER been easier than it is today, with the plethora of books, videos, sailing schools, internet discussion forums, and so on...

Seriously, if learning to sail today is still too difficult, or just too much work for some, should we really be trying harder to get such people out on the water?
Unless there is a smart phone attached with a dozen apps or more the sport is doomed


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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Whats a smart phone?
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post #766 of 909 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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My point is that one barrier I see keeping more people from sailing is simply having no idea how to do it.

Some may try, have a bad experience and that's pretty much the end of it. It's another good reason to start people young but beyond that, I think there are things that can done to make sailing easier to learn and that could include building some smarts into the boat itself.

It could be as simple as audible hints when somebody is close to do something stupid and potentially dangerous like an accidental gybe or could be more involved like enhanced automation. These things could be turned off as the sailor gets more comfortable doing them on their own.

And there might be things that a lot of people don't mind letting the boat do on it's own. When's the last time you've seen a car with a manual choke? And as much as I like a manual transmission, most people are quite happy to do without them.

I'm not suggesting that this should replace instruction but a 4 day class only does so much. To develop confidence one needs to get out on their and I think the industry could do more to make that a better and easier experience.
you do realize that the price of new boats is already pretty high, right? the cost to i mplement such technology would be outlandish. young people could never afford such boats.

besides that, doing and thinking for people doesn't make them able to do and think for themselves. it makes them dependent. notice that people who use map quest to plot out a course, as they drive, don't learn how to figure out directions on a map, for themselves. they just depend completely on mapquest or tom tom or whatever other technology is doing the thinking for them.

honestly, that's one of the worst ideas i have ever heard. there are way way too many areas in life where people have become completely dependent on technology. sailing has been an area where people have to depend on their own knowledge and ability. if you go and ruin that with technology, what's next? robot frames that carry mountain climbers up mountains?

if you want a technological answer to the question of learning to sail, you have no farther to look than stentech sail simulator 5. as a sailor, i find it to be the closest thing to sailing that doesn't involve water.

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post #767 of 909 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Ha.. sailing is pretty instinctive. My sunfish is way better at teaching sailing than your smart phone will ever be.

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post #768 of 909 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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what's next? robot frames that carry mountain climbers up mountains?

Hate to break it to you (actually I don't ), but they're already working on that.
Human Universal Load Carrier Trials: Armed Forces Int. News
HULC Exoskeleton Ready To Give Army Super-Human Strength

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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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*******snip******

Any thoughts?
Waiting for an app for that!

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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Hate to break it to you (actually I don't ), but they're already working on that.
Human Universal Load Carrier Trials: Armed Forces Int. News
HULC Exoskeleton Ready To Give Army Super-Human Strength
right. i have seen that. that's not quite the visual image in my mind when i wrote that but, it does fit the bill. i was kind of thinking of a robot holding a person in it's arms, like a mother holding a little baby, and carrying the person up. but i can't argue the facts. they are probably working on machines to have sex for us, too, so we don't have to bother spending the energy to hump modern 'man'.
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